Conexus Leadership Appointed to VDOE Workgroup to Study Impact of Digital Devices in the Classroom

In early December, Melissa Perry, Conexus Director of Community Programs and Public Health, and Dr. Evan Silverstein, Conexus Board Member and Pediatric Ophthalmologist at VCU Medical Center, were appointed to a Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Workgroup to focus on the impact of digital devices in the classroom. This workgroup is the result of legislation sponsored by Delegate Patrick Hope (2020 HB817).

In addition to staff from VDOE and Conexus, this group also includes Dr. Percita Ellis, Rockbridge Area Health Center, Joanna Pitts, Virginia Department of Health; Jacquelyn Wilmoth, VA Board of Nursing, Department of Health; and Dr. Bela Sood, MD Psychiatrist.

This workgroup’s goal is to develop, in collaboration with the Department of Health and medical professional societies, and distribute health and safety best practice guidelines for the use of digital devices in public schools no later than the 2021-2022 school year.

Read the full press release HERE.

Conexus Healthy Vision Programs Are Improving Vision, Grades and Behavior

Conexus Vision has a simple mission — remove poor vision as a barrier to a child’s success in the classroom. The results can be seen not just in the grades of the students but also in their behavior.

As Elizabeth Stowers, Communities in Schools of Chesterfield site coordinator, explained, “Last year we had a kindergartener who hated, hated, hated, hated getting on that school bus every afternoon. He would throw a tantrum, put himself on the floor.”

Turns out the boy could not see the bus he was getting on.

Conexus tested him, screened his eyes, gave him glasses and the school no longer had behavior problems with that child, Stowers said.

Watch the entire segment on WRIC HERE.

Conexus ‘Gift of Light’ campaign gifts Richmond student in need

Arielle, a Richmond Public Schools student and her mother, Mary, noticed that she started to struggle in school. According to Arielle’s mother, her struggles came right when she began to learn to read.

“So before the testing, I kind of noticed she was having a problem because she got tested right around the time she was learning to read, and you know, as a former teacher, I thought, well she is just learning to read, so I really didn’t think much about her eyesight until I had got the report from Conexus that they had gone into the school and tested her,” Mary said. “And I was like, wow, I never thought about her eyesight. So, once I got the report, I understood that she needed glasses.”

Watch the entire segment on WRIC HERE.

COVID19 Impacts Conexus – WRIC Story for Gift of Light 2020

Conexus, a non-profit organization that works with youth in schools to help them see better, is being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“It has been a little bit of a challenge for us because most of everything that we do is inside of a school building,” said Tim Gresham, the CEO and President of Conexus Vision.

Conexus visits schools and screens children for potential eye problems. Those that have eye issues then receive a full eye exam and then, if needed, will receive glasses free of charge.

Watch the segment HERE.

Conexus Announces New Board Leadership

At its most recent Board of Directors meeting, Conexus announced new Board leadership with Terrence Kerner being elected as its Board Chair and welcomed Molly Bransford as a new member.

Kerner has been an active member of the Conexus Board of Directors, as well as the Conexus Golf Classic Committee for many years and is the President of Atlantic Constructors, Inc. (ACI), headquartered in Richmond, VA.

He has been involved in multiple professional and community efforts, including the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association’s Richmond Heart Ball, as well as Chairman of the ’20-‘21 Hard Hats with Heart; the Advisory School Board for the Richmond Catholic Diocese; the Education Foundation Board for Benedictine College Preparatory; and Past President of the Richmond Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Terrence, a life-long resident of Richmond, received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute. He and his wife, Kelly, have five children. 

Bransford will serve a three-year term on the Conexus Board and is currently the Director of Business Development for Liphart Steel Company, a structural steel fabricator with plants in Richmond and Verona, VA. Bransford attended Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. She graduated with her BS in Environmental Design and her MS in Construction Management.

She is currently the Corporate Partnership Committee Chair for the American Heart Association’s 2021 Heart Ball and serves on several committees for the Associated General Contractors (AGC) as well as the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

She resides in Glen Allen, VA with her husband, Eric, and their two children.

Golf Classic Raises $100K

On Monday, October 26th, hundreds of golfers came out to play in the 2020 Conexus Golf Classic, raising $100K in the process. We truly cannot thank these teams enough for their continued support of our healthy vision programs. This year’s tournament was sponsored by Taylor & Parrish Construction, Virginia Eye Institute, Essilor Group, James River Exteriors, Breeden Construction, and Torque Supply. Want to play next year? Mark your calendars for June 14, 2021 and join us at Hermitage Country Club!

Congratulations to all the Conexus Golf Classic 2020 winning teams!

Sabot Course; Flight 1:
1st place and winner of the Siegel Cup: FCCI (Eddie Esbach, Todd Kurz, Kevin Odberg, Matthew Thompson)
2nd place: M P Barden & Sons

Sabot Course; Flight 2:
1st place: McDaniel Contractor
2nd place: Facility Support

Manakin Course; Flight 1:
1st place: Mid Atlantic Steel
2nd place: Capital Interior Contractors

Manakin Course; Flight 2:
1st place: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Base Camp
2nd place: Deloitte

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Conexus “Blink 20” Featured on WTVR’s Virginia This Morning

WTVR’s Virginia This Morning program guest co-host, Andrias White Murdaugh, speaks with Conexus President and CEO, Tim Gresham, about their “Blink 20” program, which reminds families to use simple standards that will help protect little eyes this fall. 

Click HERE to watch the entire segment.

WRVA ‘Vision is Elementary’ Campaign 2020

Throughout the week of September 14th through September 18th, WRVA 1140AM personalities John Reid and Jeff Katz included several special guests on their programs to discuss the role that Conexus has in bringing healthy vision to children across the Commonwealth. Guests also discussed the importance of Blink 20 and the signs of digital eye strain.

The guests included:

Jeff Baldwin, Communications Director for Conexus (Listen to the segment HERE)

Tim Gresham, CEO for Conexus (Listen to the segments HERE and HERE)

Dr. Gerald Neidigh, Optometrist and Conexus Board Member (Listen to the segment HERE)

Andrea Booker, Optician for Conexus (Listen to the segment HERE)

WRIC Features Conexus Blink 20

Virtual learning in 2020 has become something that students of all ages have had to adjust to because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Technology allows us the ability to learn in front of a screen, but have you ever thought about what the increased time staring at a computer could be doing to students’ eyes?

“The biggest thing is our world’s are changing – everything’s getting closer,” said Dr. Kurt Jung of Colonial River Eye Care. “Add virtual learning to the mix and now our eyes work differently. So kids that would have never had issues in the past, all of a sudden now you increase their visual demand.”

This is why Dr. Jung says it’s very important to get your eyes checked. So does Andrea Booker, optician at the non-profit organization Conexus.

Watch the story HERE.